‘It was like fresh water in a desert’: First Jalsa Salana Jamaica held after Covid-19

Misbah Anmol Tariq, Jamaica Correspondent

Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Jamaica held its 8th Jalsa Salana on 25-27 November 2022. This was the first Jalsa since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The theme of this year’s Jalsa was “Salat: A Means of Recognising God.”

The Jalsa Salana was split into two parts. The sessions on the first two days were for the members of the Jamaat only, whereas the last day was open to the public as well. On the first day, members were reminded about the blessings of Jalsa Salana, the prayers of the Promised Messiahas for the attendees, as well as the importance of hospitality in Islam. The second day’s session was about “Being a Muslim in the Caribbean,” where Fahd Peerzada Sahib shared faith-inspiring stories on this topic. This was followed by a question and answer session.

On the last day of Jalsa Salana, dignitaries and other guests were also invited. The session started with the recitation from the Holy Quran, followed by a speech by our local mu‘allim Abdullah Malcolm Sahib on, “Who are Ahmadi Muslims?”, whereby he introduced our community to the guests and shared our beliefs.

The next speaker was another local mu‘allim, Ghulam Ahmad Sahib, who spoke on “Family Values in Light of the Holy Quran”. 

Our next speaker at the event was Ibrahim Forson Sahib, who spoke on the “Dangerous Effects of Materialism”. With witty stories, he laid out the Islamic teachings of contentment and gratitude for a life outside the rat race of materialism. 

After a short break, the president and missionary-in-charge, Tariq Azeem Sahib, delivered a speech on “The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa as a Role Model”. He shared many incidents and anecdotes from the blessed life of the Holy Prophetsa, and emphasised how Allah the Almighty passed our beloved Prophetsa through various phases of life and gave him different roles to fulfil. 

The concluding address was delivered by our special guest, Fahd Peerzada Sahib from Guyana. He spoke on the topic of “Islamic Prayer: A Means of Recognising God”. 

After the final speech, dignitaries were invited to give their brief remarks, in which they applauded the works of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Jamaica. 

This year, over 100 guests attended the Jalsa Salana.

Our local mu‘allim, Abdullah Malcolm Sahib, was asked, “How did it feel to have Jalsa after such a long time again?” He replied: 

“I tell you, it was like fresh water in a desert to see and be around so many brothers and sisters, old friends and visitors. It was a great blessing and I hope to have many more of it. The speeches were wonderful, everything was wonderful. I pray that God rewards all the volunteers and attendees.”

Sadr Lajna Imaillah Jamaica, Sister Janet South Sahiba, said:

“I always love Jalsa and the excitement and anticipation of it. We always look forward to Jalsa, because it brings together the members: the feeling of unity. These were really blessed and amazing days, alhamdulillah. After such a long break, we were finally blessed again with such a beautiful Jalsa. It came and it went, but it remains in our hearts and memories; we hope to see these blessed days again next year, insha-Allah.”

Sister Gemielia Bryant, one of the younger volunteers who had her first duty this year, shares her experience serving in the langar (kitchen) of the Promised Messiahas:

“It was a really amazing experience. I can feel the Jalsa blessings. This was my first Jalsa duty and it was such an honour and a blessing to be able to serve at the langar. It was an amazing experience to work with so many different people, I learned a lot, alhamdulillah. And I pray, insha-Allah, to help more next Jalsa.”

Sister Gemielia’s little nephew, Ocean Smith, shared his little Jalsa experience by saying: 

“It was great, alhamdulillah, and I would love to come again. I had a great time seeing my friends again and I loved the speeches.”

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